Poetry on the Plaza takes up winter theme

Jennifer Berke

Austin residents don’t get very many chances to experience a winter-esque setting in their hometown, so they must use a lot of their imagination when recreating winter themed poems in their minds, said English graduate student Tyler Mabry.

Students and Austinites gathered Wednesday afternoon to experience poetic performances inspired by the winter season.

Greg Curtis, humanities coordinator for the Harry Ransom Center, said the poetry selected usually has to do with the current season, and he read “In the Winter of my 38th Year” by W.S. Merwin to begin the event. The featured speakers included English graduate student Tyler Mabry, historical fiction writer Elizabeth Crook and mathematics professor Michael Starbird.

“I think that Poetry on the Plaza has had a great semester, and we’ve ended the semester at a fantastic point,” Curtis said. “We have been very fortunate with great readers, great selections and great turnout”.

Mabry began his reading with “To Winter” by William Blake and continued to read from a varied selection of poets including Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath and Denise Levertov.

Elizabeth Crook chose a more solemn selection of poetry because she associates it with the coldness of the winter season, she said.

Michael Starbird read last, reading some well-known classics including “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas, “Fire and Ice” and “Stopping by Woods” by Robert Frost and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. He finished with a lively performance of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, including a second reading of the poem in German.

The next Poetry on the Plaza event will be held Feb. 1, 2012.

Printed on Thursday, December 1, 2011 as: Fall's final Poetry on the Plaza adopts winter-themed poetry